Students Earn Distinction at Model UN in Taiwan

By Purnell T. Cropper | April 6, 2010

By Sarah R. Schwartz ’10

Twelve Arcadia students recently returned from Taipei, Taiwan, where they were challenged to grapple with issues of policy, diplomacy, planning, collaboration, and civil society to come up with global solutions. The experience was part of Harvard’s annual World Model United Nations (MUN) conference, and two Arcadia students earned special recognition.

Rachel Teter ’10 and Kimberly Martel ’10 received the award for “Exemplifying the True Spirit of Diplomacy in Disarmament and International Security Committee.”

Martel was one of the main writers of the resolution that her committee, representing Venezuela, passed. This is no small feat in conflict resolution—especially regarding the topic of nuclear nonproliferation. She gave speeches and addressed the committee and collaborated with representatives from other countries.

“I really think what made an impact on our committee chair and assistant chairs was the way my partner Rachel Teter and I made sure to talk to whomever wanted to talk to us. We were willing to compromise and work with countries to make sure that their ideas were heard, and if possible, included in our draft resolution,” Martel says.

Teter was integral in the success of resolution by networking in the committee meetings and making sure everyone’s concerns were shared and assessed. She always let the committee know that she was committed to attempting to reach a resolution that included the most ideas possible and was the best “solution” to the problem.

Participants agree that it is one of the most real and lasting ways for students to experience the global perspective that Arcadia provides. “It isn’t a vacation or a party opportunity while abroad, it’s about the application of our education in a real way,” says Martel.

But that doesn’t mean that the group didn’t have fun. Participants often sacrifice sleep to get the most out of their experience. Socializing with participants from other countries is a significant part of the World MUN experience.

“It’s about being open-minded to new ideas,” says Martel. “If you remain open at MUN you will learn so much not only about the topics you are discussing, but about different cultures, countries, and people from all corners of the globe.”

Arcadia’s MUN team is open to students of all majors. The only prerequisite is an intense interest and passion in diplomacy. For more information, contact Joan Thompson, Associate Professor and Co-Chair of Political Science, at